THE NEW UKRAINE: KEEPING REFORMS ON TRACK

ACC's ANDY HUNDER: Five top reform priorities for Ukraine’s new government

American Chamber of Commerce President Andy Hunder identifies five key focuses for Ukraine’s new government

ACC's ANDY HUNDER: Five top reform priorities for Ukraine’s new government
About the author: Andy Hunder is the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine
Andy Hunder
Sunday, 22 May 2016 20:09

The appointment of a new Prime Minister and government of Ukraine in April is not only a challenge but also an opportunity for Ukraine to reboot the reforms process and reach a qualitatively new level of transformation. Ukraine is undergoing turbulent times, and it is critically important to follow the course of reforms set out by the previous government.

Investors and the business community in Ukraine require essential actions to be taken in order to continue investing and attracting new investment to the country. At these decisive times, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine considers it essential to focus on 5 aspects which drastically influence the overall business climate in Ukraine: the continuation of the IMF program, full-scale implementation of judicial reform, transparent and fair privatization of the state-owned enterprises, red tape reduction and a decisive fight against deep-rooted corruption.

 

1. IMF program

First of all, it is crucial to take due account of Ukraine’s obligations to its international partners and key creditors. It is vital to make sure the transition period currently underway does not throw Ukraine backwards on the path of much-needed reforms. Continuation of the IMF program is very important for the country and its citizens at large, as well as the business climate in the country and potential investors looking to enter the Ukrainian market.

 

2. Judicial reform

We expect the new leadership to focus on the successful implementation of judicial reform, which ultimately will ensure proper investors’ and creditors’ rights protection as well as establishment of the rule of law throughout the country. Lack of clear and predictable rules keep many interested investors away from Ukraine, hampering economic growth.

 

3. Open and transparent privatization

Another important focus for the new Ukrainian government is clear and transparent privatization of state-owned enterprises. If conducted in a fair and open way, this process could bring in billions of dollars of new investments and stimulate the creation of new jobs, as well as turn loss-making state enterprises into modern and profitable ones.

 

4. Cutting red tape 

The fourth aspect is the need for deregulation. This can be done by wider usage of electronic services in permit issuing and public procurements as well as harmonizing deregulation priorities with business needs. Automation will cut needless paperwork, reduce state expenditures and help to alleviate corruption.

 

5. Fighting Corruption

 Ukraine suffers from pervasive corruption. We believe that by carrying out a effective and comprehensive reforms agenda in the anti-corruption sphere and by creating a graft-free culture based on modern European values, the level of corruption in Ukraine will decrease significantly.

 

Thank you to the previous government

On behalf of the membership of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk personally.  I would also like to extend this gratitude to his team, most of all to ministers Natalie Jaresko, Aivaras Abromavicius, Andriy Pivovarsky and Oleksiy Pavlenko for their openness to dialogue, professionalism, dedication and support of investors operating in Ukraine. 

We look forward to working closely together with Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and his team in securing a level and fair playing field for promoting the ease of doing business in Ukraine. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine will continue advocating the new government for acceleration of the reforms process and aligning the reforms agenda with the needs of investors and the business community in Ukraine.

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